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Education

We recognise wellbeing to be the foundation for all educational success. It’s time to build a curriculum which rises to this standard.

Illustration shows: A parent holds their child up in the air in a playful mood. This casts a long shadow on the wall opposite. The shadow appears as an older version of the parent and child, the child's silhouette shows them wearing a graduation hat.

Chapter Summary

Sorted’s Learning chapter paves the way for a new way to learn in Scotland. Making the case for a Curriculum of Wellbeing, where wellbeing is the foundation for all educational success. Where learning means learning to be useful, learning to be part of a society, learning skills, learning who you are, learning about the world in which you live. We must refocus the education system on children and what gives them that learning.

What is Education for?

1) To enable people to;

      • live a good useful life within society
      • posses basic life skills to be self sufficient
      • have the tools to be confident, resilient, valued citizens
      • posses learning skills for communicating and counting
      • to understand the world we inhabit

      2) Curriculum to deliver this;

      • National curriculum for all schools.
      • National Education Council to monitor curriculum, exam and assessment functions Curriculum for Wellbeing
      • Happy confident learners achieve more
      • Wellbeing gap rather than attainment gap tackled as a social issue
      • Continuous seamless curriculum across education sectors.

      3). Within Schools

      • Remove target culture
      • Primarily formative assessment with summative external assessment only at exit stage to confirm teacher assessments.
      • Place social workers in schools to tackle social issues

      Institutional stages

      • Birth to 3 years,  see care service chapter
      • Kindergarten  3 to 7 years. Learn through play, creativity and exploration
      • Primary. 7 to 12 years.  Focus on core numeracy and literary skills.       
      • Secondary. 12 to 18 years.  Development of all students to their maximum potential. Summative national assessments to confirm projection and formative assessments at exit stage for outside agencies.

      Giving Teachers

      • Greater emphasis on student contact
      • Less bureaucracy
      • Less assessments
      • Less social care role
      • More teaching and assessment materials
      • More teachers and assistants

      4). Lifelong learning

      • Invest in people

      Colleges

      • determine with other providers required skills planning and training, particularly retraining for Transition to a green economy.

      Universities

      • More democratic, for public good not business. Academic not commercial focus
      • 3 year Broadly based multidisciplinary ordinary degrees
      • Honours and masters degrees available

      Some Education Related Reports

      An Equal Start

      On early childcare and early learning strategy. What would a world class standard of early years learning and care look like?

      Disruptive Technologies

      On Artificial Intelligence and the need for a retraining strategy to adapt.

      Work The Land ↗

      Addressing rural depopulation by creating new jobs and re-skilling communities. This paper touches on alternative land uses to boost employment prospects.

      Remembering what education is for. A Scottish pupil speaks about learning in a new era.

      Read as 17-year-old Ollie explains how his current school experience has been different to his parents. Common Weal has created a fictional character to explain how learning in an independent Scotland shouldn’t be an exam factory where pupils are funnelled into university. Instead it should provide pupils with an opportunity for choice, while putting wellbeing at the forefront. Have a think about how your school experience was different.

      Ollie’s Story

      Hi! I’m Ollie, I’m in high school. I love all my classes, but my favourites are biology and PE. I’m on the school hockey team, but I like playing football and badminton too.

      My parents didn’t like school very much, and always said exams were so stressful. Well I guess they had to do them back then to go to university and have the chance to get a good job. But things are different now. There are so many career options now that university isn’t essential for a good salary, including lots of new green jobs that I would also consider.

      I want to get an apprenticeship when I leave school, but I have my leaving exams to sit first. I like meeting up with my friends to study, because it doesn’t feel like studying at all! We like to help each other out now that we’re not competing for college and university spaces, and exams feel like a better test of our skills than just memorising things. The shift to a wellbeing curriculum means I can prioritise my mental health when I need to, without affecting my school results.

      The new curriculum has created a more level playing field, so private schools don’t get any special treatment. My mum and dad said this was different in their day as often private schools had an unfair advantage and private pupils benefited from that advantage.

      I could go to college part- time during my apprenticeship if I want to, but I’m not sure yet. There’s no pressure to choose a career right now, and that means I can enjoy my time at school so much more.

      Ollie’s story may be fictional for now. but a Curriculum for Wellbeing isn’t a woolly concept. There’s plenty of evidence that confident, happy learners achieve better academic outcomes. So how can we move closer to this horizon? We have a plan to get Scotland #Sorted. Head to the link to explore more ideas surrounding this.

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